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          Early Signs of Schizophrenia

          September 12, 2014

          Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness that affects the way a person sees the world. Dr. Barbara Cornblatt, Ph.D., Director of the Recognition and Prevention Program (RAP) — a specialty program aimed at identifying and treating adolescents and young adults with early signs of mental illness — created the following list of behaviors that could indicate whether your child is at risk or in the early stages of schizophrenia:

          People at risk often show behaviors such as:

          • Withdrawing from friends and family
          • Preferring to be alone
          • A drop in school performance
          • Seeming less motivated
          • Appearing depressed
          • A reduced ability to concentrate
          • Changes in sleep or energy level
          • Increased anxiety or agitation
          • Irritability
          • Moodiness

          Other behaviors of particular concern are:

          • Mistrustfulness or suspiciousness

          • Changes in personal hygiene
          • Emotions that do not fit the situation
          • Vague speech

          • Speech sometimes doesn't make sense
          • Unusual ideas or beliefs
          • Unusual experiences If your loved one is experiencing any of the behavior changes listed above, seek professional help.

          For more information, contact the following organizations:
          American Psychological Association: http://www.apa.org/
          American Psychiatric Association: http://www.psych.org/

          Dr. Barbara Cornblatt, Ph.D. is a professor of psychiatry at Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine and the wife of Dr. Phil Advisory Board member, Dr. Lonnie Sherrod, Ph.D.

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